The Man Who Changed Perspectives: Meet the Inspiring Teacher Mr. Lomas Dhungel

Mr Lomas Dhungel and his team have been able to convert 85,000 plastic pieces into 6,100 book covers and 100,000 semi-used papers into 1,000 copies and all of them have been sold, generating gross revenue of Rs.60,000.

So a good teacher always makes you do something a little bit more than you thought that you could do.” John B. Goodenough

One fine evening, some person in ancient greek rubbed fur with amber only to discover sparks coming out of it. Centuries later a fine young American man flew a kite with a key in a storm to discover the same spark in lightning and thunder. These people did not invent electricity but discovered what already existed in nature.

Do watch our interaction with Mr Lomas Dhungel here

The role of a great teacher, like Mr Lomas, is almost similar as they do not make you great overnight but shed light on your greatness which was lurking in the dark. They don’t instil, just help you discover it within yourself.

Making Mathematics Easy For Students

Lomas Dhungel is a mathematics teacher in Government Senior Secondary School Makha, a village in Sikkim. At the start of his teaching career, he saw the fear for the subject in his students’ eyes due to which he made it his mission to help them overcome that fear.

He started thinking of ways that could help the students to overcome this fear. Children love to listen to stories and they generally don’t forget them easily. Many kids remember the stories told by their grandmas when they were very small. So he took help of poetry and storytelling to teach the students and he felt a big change in the student’s behavior. They became more interested and started asking questions rather than only listening. This engagement made their confidence build up a bit. Slowly, he brought some more changes by introducing various local activities and converting difficult concepts into comic ideas. Seeing so much improvement not just in mathematics but overall thinking of these students, people applauded Mr Lomas’s attempts to drive fear out of the student’s minds. How can a kid learn something new if he is scared to score less in it? Mr. Lomas changed his outlook and gained a lot of appreciation for his efforts.

Planting the seeds for tomorrow: creating a better future

Inspiration can come at any time, anywhere. A.P.J, Abdul Kalam was intrigued by the flight of a bird and thus wanted to start his career in aerospace engineering. A person who recognises his inner passion is bound to go a long way.  Mr Lomas Dhungel too recognised his inner urge to do something to save mother nature. He named his project after mother earth, that is, “Project Hariyo Makha’ which was established in 2015. When asked about his project he said “I have been experimenting on newer and innovative ideas on “harnessing pollution” for earning small revenues which are then used for helping  needy students in their education.”

 He has been doing such things on his own since 2013. He had started by collecting plastic and paper waste and then giving that scrap for free to the scrap collectors but soon he realised that very few of them were interested in taking that scrap. So he asked them about it and found out that the problem was the lack of waste segregation. On realising the importance of waste segregation, he started collecting and segregating the waste at source.

His interest reached its peak when he saw the silver-coloured plastic and he decided to upcycle it by increasing its economic value. He realised that he could use it to make book covers for students of his school first. Seeing the success of his plan, Lomas Dhungel decided to do it on a bigger scale, so he talked to the principal of a nearby school and took his help in this fight against pollution. The revenue earned by making book covers for them was used to sponsor the study of one student in their school. Every move of Mr Lomas revolved around the idea of benefiting others.

The Steady Growth and Progress

“For every 100 copies sold, one student was sponsored for admission.”, He told us in the interview.

Lomas Dhungel aim was to educate the students for which he fought tooth and nail. Whenever there was not enough money for the students he would pay the amount from his own pocket. He didn’t let anything stop him. His dedication encouraged others to do the same and many teachers came forward and helped students to pay their fees. He didn’t want a lack of monetary resources to stop a child from getting educated and build up his future. This work changed so many lives. He took help wherever it was required from self help groups and the results of which are tremendous.

He and his team have been able to convert 85,000 plastic pieces into 6,100 book covers and 100,000 semi-used papers into 1,000 copies and all of them have been sold, generating gross revenue of Rs.60,000.

Soon, they started receiving help and appreciation from the pollution control board, educational board and donations from other districts for their hard work.

Other initiatives under Project Hariyo Makha

He started the ‘Golden Rupee’ initiative in which all the plastic and paper waste is segregated and then given to scrap collectors in exchange for rupee one only, no matter what the quantity is.

Similarly, other initiatives like clean paper, hidden treasure and my copy are also a major part of his success.

Lomas Dhungel gave us a very important message in our talk which is, “Stagnant resources are presumed to be waste until they are being harnessed.”

Untapped potential is the one that is wasted be it anything, a student, a resource, anything. If we look at solar power, or wind power, the word power is added only when we harness it. The wind and the sun possess this power but we have to bring it to our use by our efforts. This is what Lomas believes.

Learning and Experience

The reason for Mr Lomas’s success is his unwavering motivation. He works hard to keep his head held high. When asked about his trials and tribulations he said that there is no story without them. There was a phase when the dark cloud of failure was looming over his head and it took him all his courage to not get deterred by it. He kept faith in his own self and kept moving forward. He believes that as long as one is ready to learn and keep moving forward without letting the criticism bother him, nothing can stop that person.

He also thanked his mentors, family and students for believing in him and always supporting him in every aspect of his life. Due to his inspiring work, the Govt of India bestowed India’s highest Teachers award i.e. National Teacher Award to him in year 2020.

We at Sarkarischool.in celebrate the efforts and success of Mr Lomas Dhungel and hope that we keep meeting people like him to make our lives filled with hope and light.

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All the stories are originally designed by team Sarkari School. Strict action will be taken against plagiarism.

About the author: Abhishek Ranjan

Abhishek Ranjan is the Founder and Director of SarkariSchool.IN

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